Advertising, Marketing or PR?
When you ask a lot of B&B owners how they market their B&B, they tell you that their property is listed in guide books and brochures. This is not marketing, this is advertising. Lets look at the definitions for advertising, marketing and Public Relations ( PR ).
Advertising generally involves paying for an advert in a local tourism guide, an association magazine, on a website etc. You write the words ( the copy ) and they place the ad as it is. You have control over where it goes and what it says and you pay for that control.
You encourage the media to cover your products or service.
This can be in the form of a review, interview, competition or feature. It can also be reactive – as in the form of crisis management and the public front you display to the press.
It’s a very cheap option but there are disadvantages. You ultimately have little control over how you are portrayed. If your products, event or services fail to make the grade you are putting the spotlight on them and leaving them vulnerable to public criticism. So, make sure that you are ready for that spotlight.
Marketing is best described as identifying your market and then defining its needs and wants, and finding out the best way to sell to it.
The practice of marketing can take many forms such as direct mail-shots, regular email newsletters for your customers, networking on and off-line.
To get the best exposure for your B&B, you will want to do a combination of these three activities.